In less than three months time, the Ross Perot phenomenon has seemingly come out of nowhere to capture the imagination of a nation of disillusioned voters. With no party and no political experience, he has nevertheless already matched Bill Clinton’s nationwide popularity, while trailing not far behind George Bush. To most Americans, he is the only major candidate who is truly an outsider in a year when the entire Washington establishment is desperately trying to portray themselves as such. Many see him as the only true “change agent” at a time when the only national priority that we can all seem to agree on is that the system and the people that run it must be changed. Yet there are also those who wonder if his candidacy merely means that we are now privileged to choose the lesser of three evils.
Ross Perot is a unique candidate measured against any conventional criteria (and, yes, he is a candidate whether or not he admits it). We’ve all heard about his tremendous business savy, his multi-billion dollar self-made fortune, and the thrilling story of how he was able to privately rescue his own employees from Iran when president Jimmy Carter could not do the same with the entire U.S. military. If we were voting for Businessman of the year, or handing out Presidential Medals of Freedom, then Perot might be the consensus candidate. But a candidate for President should be judged more for the character he has demonstrated, the philosophy he lives by and the values he promotes, than for raw charisma, compelling rhetorical skills or encyclopedic mastery of economic or political issues.
So what values does Perot espouse, and how closely do they align with the biblical standards which gave birth to our nation and its Constitution? Let’s deal with the bad news first. Perot is pro-abortion, and is a substantial contributor to the abortion industry’s main front group, Planned Parenthood.* If you are a single issue pro-life voter, then the case is already closed. Any one who refuses to discharge the fundamental duty of protecting innocent life cannot be trusted to sit in the seat of presidential power rendering decisions on the many human life and death issues which must inevitably confront him.
Another grave problem with Perot’s candidacy is his laissez faire attitude toward the special privilege agenda demanded by the pro-homosexual left. This “politically correct” (i.e. incorrect) perspective betrays a disturbing ignorance of the repeated historical examples which illustrate the correlation between the decline and destruction of a civilization and the widespread acceptance and promotion of sodomy, pedophilia and related perversions. Additionally, God has warned us not to be deceived about the nature of homosexual practices, listing it along with idolatry, adultery, prostitution, and thievery as acts which bring damnation on the individuals who practice them, and collectively on the nations where they become too widespread (see 1 Cor. 6:9).
Perot is seen by many as a nebulous mass of contradictions. Nowhere is this more evident than in his moral views and attitudes toward family values. For despite espousing two of the doctrines which are most destructive to the formation of stable and prosperous families, he nevertheless has lived an exemplary family life and “preached” an otherwise biblically compatible message concerning the universal need for morality, integrity, personal responsibility and family values. Let’s examine a few of the traits that Perot is well known for, and compare them to Scriptural standards:
DILIGENCE – Perot demonstrated it in building a three billion dollar personal empire from scratch. Of equal importance was his ability to impart this value to others in his organization, bringing out the best in the people who worked for him – a true sign of leadership. Proverbs 10:4 declares that “diligent hands bring wealth” and Proverbs 12:24 says that “diligent hands will rule.”
INTEGRITY – Almost nobody dares to impugn Perot here. Few are expecting any skeletons to fall out of this candidate’s closet. This, too, became a hallmark of the people who worked under Perot. Scripture tells us that “the man of integrity walks securely,” and that “the integrity of the upright guides them” (Proverbs 10:9 & 11:3). This nation desperately needs political leaders who can securely lead us because they themselves are guided by a trustworthy moral compass.
FIDELITY – The Bible teaches that God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16). Ross Perot hates it too. God also commands us “guard yourself in your spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth” (Mal. 2:15). Perot is not only an adoring father of five, but he has been a virtual crusader for the necessity of fidelity in marriage. He openly tells employees that if their wives can’t trust them then he cannot either. It is a refreshing change to see a major public figure take a stand for any part of God’s law. It is one thing to keep faith in your own marriage; it is quite another thing to publicly pronounce that fidelity is a universal commandment.
STEWARDSHIP – Perot’s criticism of our nation’s appalling three trillion dollar national debt aligns him with the numerous biblical injunctions against long term consumption-orientated indebtedness. One of his main objections to our government’s profligate spending habits is that it is robbing future generations of their inheritance. This agrees with the wisdom of Proverbs 13:22 which tells us that “a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.”
Perot believes in smaller, more efficient government, the elimination of national debt, tougher law enforcement and a strong national defense. He abhors the pride and arrogance of our political, social and academic elites, in their self-inflated belief that the centralized state mechanisms they control are our civilization’s highest expression of virtue. Perot instead exalts the virtues of the common man and the value of the individual. These are all compatible with a biblical worldview.
Ross Perot is an intriguing and refreshing presidential candidate. Yet he stumbles into the same confused moral trap which is so characteristic of our “post-Christian” era. As a nation we have come to believe in a self-serving “buffet” morality. We think we can pick and choose which parts of God’s law we want to live by, ignoring the greater part with impunity. But no amount of personal or societal “piety” will cause God to overlook the sins of a nation that practices perversion and condones the slaughter of its children.
So we may again have found that our choices limit us to picking the lesser of two or three evils. As distasteful as that might be, it would nevertheless be our responsibility to determine the “least worst” choice and then vote for that candidate, remembering that many steps through darkness are often required before the place of light can be reached. We should never despise the day of small beginnings. And though our reform efforts may seem fruitless for a season, they are not futile. For God rules over the nations and in history. In due time His sovereignty will be recognized, and once again the fruits righteousness will appear in the United States of America.
- Source: Philip Lawler, Presswatch, Shawmut Research Company, Dedham, Massachusetts